Carpathian narrow gauge

narrow-gauge railway carpathiansIn the development of forestry and wood industry in Vyhoda the important role was played by rail road which in the second half of the XIX century was built from Lviv to Stanislav. Since then Carpathian forest and timber could be exported to Europe, Baron Popper and other capitalists took advantage of it. However, deliver products on horses from Vyhoda to the railways in Dolyna was unprofitable, and this problem was solved with the start of the broad gauge to Vyhoda in 1883. Since then there is a sharp rise in industry: building of new factories, increasing in the number of sales.

Later there was another problem to be solved – the transportation of felled timber to Vyhoda. Timber was floated on Carpathian rivers Svicha and Mizunka, creating some discomfort and complaints of the peasants, when due to imperfect alloy dam was created and the water overflowed the fields of residents of Veldizha, Patsykova, Mizun. Numerous complaints by peasants forced authorities to ban fusion of the forest in the early XX century. Then there appeared an urgent need for alternative transportation of routes for wood processing to Vyhoda. Originally “tram” were laid in the mountains – narrow gauge railways, on which horses drove forest, there is evidence that in 1890 from sawmill in Vyhoda to a small sawmill in Old Mizun and to forest alloying station in Mizuntsi there was built narrow three-kilometer track that held two large bridges on the rivers Svicha and Mizunka.

Deliver products on horses from Vyhoda to the railways in Dolyna was unprofitable, and this problem was solved with the start of the broad gauge to Vyhoda in 1883.

The interesting information is about Vygoda’s narrow-gauge railway can be learnt from the book “Narrow gauge railways in Eastern Halytchyna”, authored by Wolfram Wendelin from Austria, who is researching railways in Austria as well as in Halytchyna and Bukovina for many years and published two books in German, where describes and illustrates by photographs all narrow gauges of Western Ukraine. Now he is preparing for publication a separate book on Vygoda’s narrow gauge railway. He was a guide in July 2004 on the route Benefit – Mizun – Oak Corner – Sloboda Meldunok to the foot of mountain Magura, by which a group of tourists from Germany, England and Poland traveled.

According to him, the construction of railway track which length is of 21 kilometers from Vyhoda to Lyudvykivky started in 1913-1914. The construction cost was 600 thousand krons. The new Line had many bridges of a complex design. During the First World War, construction stopped and only in 1920 track road to Lyudvykivka was completed, and in 1936 the station “Svicha” and “Beskid” became final on this railway.

Numerous complaints by peasants forced authorities to ban fusion of the forest in the early XX century. Then there appeared an urgent need for alternative transportation of routes for wood processing to Vyhoda.

In 1938 he published a plan of passenger traffic on this railway. The train set off from Vyhoda at 8 hours and 45 minutes in the morning and arrived at the final station “Svicha ” at 10 h. 30min. Back it goes off at 16h. 30min and come to Vyhoda at 18.00h. The train plied on weekdays.

After World War I the management of company “Silviniya” put forward the idea of ​​building a broad-gauge railway through the valley of the River Mizunky to Vyshkiv and further through pass Torun to Justa. You can imagine what would become this corner of the Carpathians, if this idea could go through. Vyshkiv probably would have been a famous mountain resort and Vyhoda – a major city. But, it didn’t come true due to lack of money for such construction in Poland at that time.

On February 19, 1918 began the designing of narrow roads for forest transportation from Vyhoda up on the river Mizunka. It was designed by Falter firm and Dattner from Krakow. For forest tracks near the train station in Vyhoda were planned numerous traveling devices, since there was planned an industrial center and the construction of a new sawmill. At the end of the third side track there was planned construction of remission locomotive with turntable. The construction of this narrow branch was completed in 1920. In subsequent years, the main line was extended to the tract “Bukovec” and side – to “Hlybokiy,” to “Yalovoy” and in other ways. Thus, by 1939, there were formed narrow-gauge roads from Vyhoda to Solotvyno on the river Mizunka to and to Beskid on the river Candle (Svicha) with total length of 65 km.

narrow-gauge railway carpathians mapFor some period of narrow-gauge railway was the only way to deliver wood to lower landing in Vyhoda. After World War II, when the volume of logging reached 700 thousand cubic meters of wood per year and there was massive destruction Carpathian forest, from basic meldunkas in different areas to inaccessible tracts new branches of narrow gauges were quickly build. In the early 60-ies of XX century its total length reached 170 kilometers, meaning increases in almost three times. The main drawing force were diesels of GR type and coupling by mark “Vaymer.”

With the decline in the export of wood, and the development of road transport system some parts of roads were closed. At this time to replace diesel locomotives TU-2, TU-4 came to usage.

At the beginning of the 90s Vyhoda’s VZD had a length of 135 km. Its technical condition was poor and Forestry Complex management decided to gradually close the narrow gauge. Two floods of 1998 inflicted crushing damage to railways, which destroyed almost half of the existing lines. Only Mizunska branch was partially restore.

To restore the track 34 railway bridges had to be build, also 140 meters of retaining walls, replace more than 35 thousand sleepers, reconstruct bridges in Vyhoda and so on.

In 2000 LLC “Woodworking Plant Vyhoda” became the owner of VZD which now is a subdivision of Ltd “Uniplyt.”

Digression

It is said that one year in May, the new owners driving on narrow-gauge railway trolley, admired spring Vyhoda’s views of the mountains and realized that it is shameful to use such a beauty only for industrial purposes. Thus it began a new life for narrow, which received euphonious name “Carpathian tram“, and now everyone has the opportunity to escape from everyday life in one of the cabins of restored train or make oneself comfortable on an open platform and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

Today the narrow railway in Vyhoda is one of the most popular tourist sites in Carpathians. For three years, it has been visited by more than 5,000 tourists from all over Ukraine and abroad.

Post Your Thoughts